Music Video Review: Jay-Z’s “On to the Next One (feat. Swizz Beatz)”

1/04/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Gita Gupte

Not often do hip-hop music videos break the mold of stereotype to forgo under-dressed women, clubs and bottles of Cristal for something artistic and worth mention. Jay-Z’s video for “On to the Next One” is a refreshing break from the status quo. Filmed in black-and-white, it features a small cast with approximately three women and four men. Though it still hypes cars, bubbly and sex, it does so tastefully and without misogyny--choosing dance, fashion and art over grinding, nakedness and debauchery.

The video features a young girl in a basketball jersey unsure and a bit scared. We then see a series of basketballs go up in flames as Jay-Z and his back-up track rap, “On to the next one, on to the next one, on to the next one…somebody bring me back some money, please.” There is a strong use of image here--the video shows haunting men in tuxedos, studded skulls, inanimate objects dripping milk, lips dripping lip stick, electric wires, crucifixes--the gamut. I’ll be honest, I don’t quite get the whole story being told here, but I gather that it has something to do with the struggle between good and evil, and balancing fame and fortune without losing yourself in the process.

I must also take a moment to comment on the video’s portrayal of the female dancer. The video depicts the female as a work of art rather than merely a sex object--focusing on fashion and style rather than sex appeal and short skirts.

This video is a healthy departure from most hip-hop videos and something I hope to see more of from Jay-Z and other artists. In this video, Jay-Z shows us that what makes an MC great is not the bling, the babes or the bottles, but rather a sense of individuality that rises above the rest, transforms and goes against the grain.

View the video for "On to the Next One" below. What are your thoughts?

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  1. lisa said...

    Nice video, liked it overall, but wanted to be grabbed and shaken more. Maybe my small screen... not enough coffee? I'll check out on bigger screen, etc.